It’s no secret that event management is one of the most stressful jobs you can have. In fact, it has been listed in the top 10 most stressful jobs almost every year for the past decade! So how do you manage your stress levels?
Most people would say they take a break, have a cup of tea, or take a walk but let’s be honest, it’s rare that these things actually happen. In my experience, when it gets stressful, most people find they don’t have time to do any of these of things. You make phone calls, send out emails and do everything you can to feel back on top of your work.
So, what’s the best way to deal with stress?
Organise your time. One of the first things you can do is plan to prevent stress by doing what event managers do best and organise your time.
Plan ahead. You’ll know what times of the year are the busiest for you so try and get a head start on the bits you can when it’s quieter.
Use your calendar. Put tasks in your calendar that you need to do for the length of time it will actually take you to do them. You then have an accurate idea of what you’ll be able to achieve in your day and what you may need support with. If you find you have things left over, I find the best way to manage these is to prioritise: what must be done this week; what should be done this week; and what can be moved to next week.
So now that we have done all we can to prevent being stressed, what should we do when we are stressed?
Break it down. When we get overwhelmed, a task can start to feel a lot bigger than it is. So, break it down into small steps and tick these off as you go and make sure you celebrate the small wins!
Utilise your team. If something urgent comes in, such as a deadline change, or a mistake that’s been made, talk to a member of the team. See if they have any advice or could help you in any way. Remember a problem shared is a problem halved.
Utilise your manager. Managers are there to support you and make sure you are succeeding at your job. If you are feeling overwhelmed, they should be there ready to help and work out a plan with you to make it more manageable. Remember to be honest with them: if you haven’t told them you’re struggling, how will they know?
Prioritise you. Make sure you are looking after you during stressful times and remember it’s just a job and your health should always come first. Make sure you set boundaries with not only clients but also your colleagues. Ensure you have enough time away from work to decompress. Remember that there is more to life than work and if you are having fun in your personal life, you are more likely to be productive at work.
You are only human. We are all guilty of receiving an impossible deadline and acting like a superhuman to get it done. We push ourselves to our limits by working into the night and not looking after ourselves. Then if we fail, we beat ourselves up over it and stress even more. Instead, let’s try being kind to ourselves and use our boundaries. Be honest with yourself and (my favourite) ask for help. Your team would rather help you now than have to step in later to fix any mistakes made.
We’ll never get away from stress, but we can do our best to manage it in a healthy way. Below are a few quotes that the CFS team use to remind ourselves that everything will be ok.
#Eventprofs #mentalhealth #stressmangement
Written by Lucy Henderson (Event Coordinator).